Jesus Lives in YOU! You're Responsible

12/30/2006

speech bubble representing person 3 talkingHebrews 10 says, “Consider, brothers and sisters, how you can spur each other on to love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24). As you’re gathering together, as you’re walking together along the road, each of you considers, as a priest of God, how to spur each other on to love and good works. We don’t need “somebody else” to be the most spiritual among us. We all need to be our own gift to God, responsible to one another, and bearing our own burdens—not putting the burden on somebody else to carry for us because they’re “more spiritual than we are and know more than we do.” There will always be different levels of maturity, but no one is more important than the Jesus who lives inside of you. There is no other Jesus. If Jesus lives inside of you, because you’ve been born a second time, there is no one more responsible than you, to let the Jesus inside of you see and know and discern and bear the burden and help others pull weeds. The same Jesus who lived inside of the apostle Paul lives in you. So if Paul were here in this room right now, we should not say, “Oh, I’m going to defer to the apostle Paul. I will let him do it, because he’s more spiritual than I am.” Paul did not have a different Jesus than you do, if you’ve been born a second time.

The definition of a Christian is someone who has repented of their self-life, who has thrown away their sin, who has given away their right “to decide” and “to own,” and who has asked Jesus to take total control and to make His home in them. If a person is a Christian—born a second time (Gal. 3, Eph. 1, Rom. 8), then the fullness of Jesus lives inside of them. Otherwise, they are not a Christian at all, and they’re “none of His,” as the Scriptures say (Rom. 8:9). If you are a Christian, then Jesus lives inside of you. Act like it. Do not disgrace Jesus and quench the Spirit’s Fire by not believing that Jesus can live in you and through you, and by refusing to take responsibility (1Thes. 5:19). Yes, you’ll make some mistakes and blunders. Yes, there will be some embarrassing moments as you try to let Jesus live through you. Mistakes will be made, but that’s okay. We love each other and we’re a family. Did your children ever make mistakes? Of course they did. When your children were learning how to walk, did they fall down the first time? Did you laugh and make fun of them, or did you reach down, take their hand and encourage them to try again? That’s what Family is. So yes, we’ll make mistakes, but let’s not be guilty of never trying. Let’s not be guilty of living in a bubble of selfishness, fear and unbelief, and not even trying to be a priest of God. Let us not live like we don’t care about each other as a family, as a hundred mothers, brothers and sisters. No longer will we just live our own life and “attend” our family. It’s not a family if you “attend” it—it’s an orphanage. It’s not a church if you’re not deep in relationships. It’s just a meeting, it’s a club. It’s only a church if it’s the Body of Christ, “joined and knit together by every supporting ligament” (Col. 2:19).

Koinonia is intertwined lives, where my life is your life, my hopes are your hopes, and my dreams are your dreams. My fears and weaknesses you embrace and cover and my strengths are a part of you. You help my weaknesses and you own my strengths, because we are One. Your whole body is one body, right? You don’t despise your hand and love your elbow, because you’re all one. And so it is with the Body of Christ. That’s the message of this year in this generation, in the Body of Christ worldwide. We will not “attend church” ever again. We either are church, or we will quit playing church. We will not play church ever again. We will either be involved in each other’s lives, or we’ll quit pretending we are. We will be a Priesthood of God, with Jesus living inside, or we’ll quit pretending about it. This is the call of God to this generation: to be the church, to be the Family of God. The call is to live it out, to be sacrificially involved in each other’s lives, and to be called alongside one another daily. No longer will we have some special holy day or holy hour saying, “Okay, it’s time to attend my family now.” You are either involved on Tuesday, or don’t bother on Sunday, because it’s not the church if you’re not involved. If you are not willing to cover and protect, love and watch, see and care and then risk as a Kingdom of Priests, then it’s not the church.

The only definition of church in the Bible is what we read in Acts 2:42-47. Even baby Christians can live that way. Even baby Christians can intertwine their lives and not be self-centered, prideful, fearful and worldly. Why does that chapter exist about baby Christians? Because they were in love with Jesus and in love with each other. Acts 2 is what happens when we’re in love with Jesus and in love with each other. If we don’t live that way, then we love ourselves too much, and we love God and each other too little. The product of people who are in love with Jesus and who are in love with each other is that they live like Family.

Jesus said if you forsake your life, you will have a hundred mothers, brothers and sisters. Not a hundred next door neighbors. Not a hundred third cousins. Not a hundred acquaintances that have a common belief system, and “they believe like I do.” So what! Big deal. Even the devils believe and tremble. “They believe like I do, so therefore we’re a church.” That’s not what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that if we’re born a second time, then the Jesus who lives inside each of us mingles together to form more and more and more of the freedom of Jesus, the power of Jesus, the gift of Jesus, the outreach of Jesus, and the care, concern, nurture and admonition of Jesus—as a hundred mothers, brothers, sisters. That’s the church. Anything else that calls itself a church is fraudulent. It’s a counterfeit. There may be Christians there, so don’t mistake what I’m saying. I’m not saying if it’s not really a church, then nobody there is a Christian. I’m saying that it’s God’s desire that the church be the Body of Christ, not something to attend.

The world has fooled us. It has shown us a kind of so-called “church” that people attend once a week and therefore think, “I’m part of a church.” I’m sorry, but that kind of church is not in the Bible. You cannot go to a building once a week and then add a house church meeting to it, and now it’s a better church. The only church in the Bible is one in which our lives are intertwined. People may say, “We have a fellowship,” but they really don’t have one unless their lives are intertwined, and they are called alongside one another daily so that none are hardened and deceived by sin. If you don’t have that, then you don’t have a fellowship. You may want a fellowship, but you shouldn’t say you have one until you have all decided to let go of your lives for the sake of others. That’s church, that’s fellowship. And that’s God’s desire and God’s Heart.

If we would give away our lives for Jesus, and we would throw away our sins for Jesus, then why wouldn’t we let Him have His way with our churches too? It’s His idea. It’s right here in the Bible, to be the Body of Christ, and not just attend something. You can’t attend your body, you can’t attend your family, and you can’t attend a Biblical church. So let’s stop doing that. Okay?

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